Mining bitcoins (BTC) would be one of the emerging technologies for waste recovery. More precisely, mining would make it possible to drastically reduce the quantity of fugitive methane produced by the fermentation of organic matter and the oil industries. Knowing that it is a powerful greenhouse gas, this option is a game-changer and will promote crypto mining to the rank of ecological activities.
Understanding the harmful effects of methane on the environment
Methane (CH4) is one of the greenhouse gases, and not just any. This is at least 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2) in trapping heat in the atmosphere. Methane emissions can come from fossil gases. This happens all along the supply chain (pre-production, extraction, collection, processing, storage, distribution…). CH4 also comes from the fermentation of organic matter. The methane released into the air is responsible for global warming. To combat this major environmental problem, the gas emitted should be captured and recovered.
This biogas resulting from the degradation of organic matter mainly comes from landfill sites. In these landfills, organic matter can produce methane over twenty years. Agriculture and livestock are also among the main sources of CH4 emissions. The energy sector accounts for nearly 40% of methane emissions from human activity. Reducing the quantity of methane supposes a limitation of these vital productions (energy, breeding, agriculture). Which seems complicated (even unthinkable). We have to find another alternative. This is where Bitcoin mining comes in.
Waste recovery and bitcoin mining
Bitcoin has always been singled out for its particularly high carbon footprint. But suppose there is a way to balance the consumption and production of electricity while preserving the environment. In which case, the use of energy should not be a problem. The figures indicate an annual increase in the atmospheric concentration of methane. These are all sources of potential energy. Many processes already exist to reduce the level of methane in the atmosphere, such as flaring (or burning). However, this technique creates another problem: the emission of CO2. It is also impossible to use it at sites close to built-up areas.
The idea is to find an innovative approach to producing electricity with waste methane. The use of reciprocating engines powered by biogas or turbines makes it possible to capture methane locally to produce electricity. Bitcoin miners believe in exploiting these technologies. They want to use the waste gases to create electricity using small-scale generators. This process can reduce methane emissions in a productive way. And since Bitcoin mining is relatively energy-intensive, the reduction of methane in the atmosphere will be accordingly.
More and more companies are now embarking on the recovery of methane for the bitcoin mining. Vespane Energy, for example, just recently raised $4.3 million to develop its negative carbon footprint Bitcoin mining technology. Giga Energy, for its part, works with the oil industries to capture residual methane for mining purposes. In short, mining farms can absorb excess methane and convert it into hash power. In other words, turning harmful waste into monetary value. As a bonus, Bitcoin turns green!
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